We are FRC Team 4121 Viking Robotics, and we are from Hoover High School, North Canton, OH. Each year, a new task is laid out for us by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in the form of a game. Our goal is to build a multi-functioning robot to compete with other teams around the country each season, with assistance from several mentors and our head coach Mr. Todd Alkire. We are given six weeks from kick-off to build our robot, which tend to consist of long hours of hard work and lots of fun! After build comes competition season, where we compete regionally to try and make it to the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis.
FIRST launches kickoff every year with a trailer of the year’s game, on the first saturday of the year. But our team does not just start then. We begin planning in September all about what our subteams will work on, and how to work together. We hold training and safety sessions to teach members all they will need to know when the time comes to build our robot. We discuss possible strategies, between earning ranking points versus game points, and building smaller, faster robots versus larger, stronger machines. There is a subteam on the Viking Robotics that focuses on the business aspect, including attaining sponsorships, working on reaching out into the community, designing our website, updating social media on our whereabouts, and so on. We end preseason every year with a mock kickoff, in which we watch a trailer from years ago, and begin brainstorming ideas to get in the right mindset. The most exciting part of preseason is when the season is about to commence, and we are all jittery to know what we’re going to be building towards for the next couple months!